Then I found City Boxers. They promised American-made boxers constructed from durable fabric. The patterns won't make the kids roll their eyes, and they do cost more, but City Boxers seemed a good thing to try. So I ordered a few. They asked for quite a few details of style, materials, cut, and size. It was kind of like ordering a latte at a fancy coffeehouse.
The first email thanked me for my order, but needed to explain the drill to me. They want me to be Completely Satisfied -- so they won't make all that I ordered. Hmm. Instead, they will make me one to try out. They suggest I wear it to do all kinds of things, wash it a few times, and make sure it is what I Really Want. And they will start making the test pair as soon as I confirm that I am ready to take that big step. I was a little slow in responding (I was forwarding the email to my friends), so they wrote again. I quickly confirmed that, yes, indeed, I would like a pair of their excellent underpants. They set to work.
In a day, I got another email:
On Tuesday, July 24, 2007, batch number XXXXXXXXX was created. Your boxer short selections are a part of this particular batch. Batches are a group of many orders that will be created before we move on to subsequent batches. As of this emailing, we have completed 98.48 percent** of this batch.
There are 8 steps in creating our excellent boxers (see specifics at the bottom of this email). Here is the status of your order.
1 pair of 'Burgundy' Boxers
Style Number: 6093
Inseam: Standard, 4-Inch
Waistband: Plush Inside-Exposed
Pocket: No Pocket
Step 1: Completed (25 Jul)
Step 2: Completed (26 Jul)
Step 3: Completed (26 Jul)
Step 4: Completed (26 Jul)
Step 5: Completed (26 Jul)
Step 6: Completed (26 Jul)
Step 7: Completed (26 Jul)
We appreciate your boxer short order and your patience in allowing us the time necessary to create excellence. We are a bit slower than other boxer short companies, but we do want your shorts to be the very best you have ever worn.
** Your boxers are a member of the batch listed in the title of this email. We must complete the entire batch before your boxers, and the other boxers in this batch, are inspected, bagged, packaged and then shipped to you. This figure notes how far we are along on the entire cutting and sewing process for this batch.
BOXER SHORT CONSTRUCTION PROCESS
Step 1: Marking and Cutting. Each pair we create is marked with chalk and then precision cut individually. As a part of step 1, a waistband length is cut to a precise length based on the waist measurement you ordered. If your boxer shorts appear too large upon opening the package, this would be due to the stiffness of the fabric you chose. After washing, the boxers will contract down to the appropriate size. Some fabrics will not contract, or will contract very little, due to the initial softness of the fabric. (Average 5 minutes per pair.)
Step 2: Side Seam. A french seam is run down the outside of each leg. French seams are far superior to serge seams. They are much more durable and are without a doubt more comfortable. (Average 3 minutes per pair.)
Step 3: Waistband Material Attachment. A single-needle sewing machine is used to sew the waistband to each side of the front above the spot where the fly will eventually be. Ends of the waistband material are nicely hidden for a clean, professional look. (Average 5 minutes per pair.)
Step 4: Waistband Gathering. A four-needle sewing machine is used to gather the waistband around the top of the boxer short. At the end of this process a size label is adding in the middle of the back. (Average 3 minutes per pair.)
Step 5: Fly Area. A single-needle sewing machine is used to meticulously sew the stitching around the fly area. The reason our boxers last so long is our attention to detail in creating our designs. (Average 5 minutes per pair.)
Step 6: Crotch Seam. A double-needle, French stitch sewing machine is used to sew the crotch seam. (Average 3 minutes per pair.)
Step 7: Fastener and Logo Label. The boxers are finished around the fly area with this step. A button, or snap, is added to the middle of the fly, if applicable. The spot above the fly is sewn together and then our logo label is attached. (Average 4 minutes per pair.)
Step 8: Cutting and Hemming. A straight line from crotch seam to leg seam is cut and then the legs are hemmed. These extraordinary boxers are finished. Now they are carded, bagged, vacuum packed, and are readied for shipment. (Average 5 minutes per pair.)
As you can see, it takes about 33 minutes to complete a single pair of boxer shorts.
I eagerly await the arrival of my undies, though I know I am not worthy.